From Mountain Lake Church Dawson’s Sermon Series, “Bedroom Confessions”
View the service online at: vimeo.com/dawsonmlc
Is love enough? I guess that depends on how you define love. We love pizza, love our jobs, love vacations and love our spouse.
The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:8 that “love never fails”. If that’s true, why do so many relationships and marriages still fail? To have a love that never fails as it says in verse 8 we need to look back to verse 7 to see what it takes to get to a love that never fails:
It [Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:7)
To have a love that never fails in our marriage we must be willing to put in the work and effort on the front end. When we have a love that always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres we will have a love that never fails.
As we look at practical ways to always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere to develop a love that never fails…understand always means “in all things”. That means that in all things love protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres…in good times and bad times.
Love Always Protects
To protect means to provide, care for, defend. It is the image of covering to protect from potential threats. It is putting your personal safety and desires aside for the good of someone else, in this case, your spouse.
Gardenia vs. Daylily
If you are gardener you understand what is required to care for different plants. There are some plants that demand more care than others. Gardenias are beautiful plants known for its fragrant white flowers. Due to their beauty they have become a gardening symbol in the southeast. But to be able to enjoy the beauty of the Gardenia you must be willing to put in the effort. Gardenias demand very specific care from the time of the year they are planted, temperature, sunlight, watering, placement, soil type and so on. You cannot plant a Gardenia in your backyard and expect to sit back and watch it blossom. A Daylily on the other hand is in many ways just as beautiful but is capable of blooming and growing without the tedious care and attention.
Each spouse has a duty to protect, to care for, the other…always! A love that always protects means that each spouse knows what it takes for their spouse to grow and blossom into the beautiful man or woman that God intended them to be. A gardener can’t get upset at a gardenia for not growing if he doesn’t provide the correct care. God has given husbands and wives the duty to protect, to care for their spouse…paying careful attention to their specific needs so that they can grow into their full potential. It is the responsibility of the spouse to be the gardener of their husband/wife.
Side Note: We get the word “husband” from the term “husbandman” which is someone one cultivates the land…aka farmer.
Know the Needs: Do you know what it takes for your spouse to grow and blossom? If not…find out! (this is a process…sometimes a process of trial and error)
Do the Deeds: Once you know what it takes to protect your spouse so they can grow, do it! There is a large gap between knowing and doing. Set time aside to do what it takes to protect
Be a Defender: Just as a gardener does many things to protect his plants from insects, frost, too much sunlight, not enough sunlight, etc…We must be very aware of anything that poses a threat to our spouse. Are any of the following a potential threat: Toxic Relationships (family, friends, coworkers, neighbors), Financial Pressures, Stress, Temptations, Media, etc…
Remove Sarcasm: The word “sarcasm” literally means “to rip flesh”. When we allow sarcasm into how we talk to our spouse we are doing the opposite of protecting
Love Always Trusts
In order to always trust the relationship must be safe. Security in a relationship is developed through honesty not perfection. Honesty includes apologizing and forgiving. This doesn’t mean we necessarily forgive and forget but we choose to forgive and choose to not hold grudges against our spouse. Always Trusting means we think the best of the other person and always assume the best in the other person.
Apologize: Be quick to apologize. Ask your spouse if there is anything you still need to apologize for. You may be surprised what you need to apologize for that you didn’t even realize hurt your spouse.
Note for husbands: When you apologize to your wives it is important to be aware of your demeanor. We are naturally louder and more animated when we talk which can be perceived as intimating to our wives. To effectively apologize to our wives (which we should probably be doing on a daily basis) we need to soften our voice.
Forgive: Forgiving keeps our emotions from dictating our love. Forgiving doesn’t take away the hurt but it begins the healing process. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting rather forgiving is choosing to love always and in all things.
Love Always Hopes
Love that always hopes is not a love that just wishes things will get better. This is not “wishful thinking”. A love that always hopes has confidence. Confidence that even though things may not be good right now…we are committed to each other and committed to work hard, put in the effort and things will get better.
Joy over Frustration: Joy is different from happiness. There can be joy in the midst of troubles. As a couple, choose joy over frustration. Choose to see how things are growing and be joyful for the progress you are making, no matter how minimal it seems. Marriage is a journey…it will be more enjoyable walking it through together…even if the road is difficult. Hope does not expect immediate results but has confidence while being joyfully patient.
Picture It Often: Too often we get caught up in what is instead of what could be. As a couple take time to hope and dream together. Talk about what your ideal life looks like five years from now, ten years from now. The more you talk about the ideal and picture it together the more you will find yourself moving towards the ideal together.
Love Always Perseveres
To persevere means to stay, to remain, not to retreat. In our marriages we fail to persevere because we don’t feel like it, it seems too difficult, requires too much effort or just too tired. Love is a commitment not solely an emotion or feeling. To have a love that always perseveres you must be willing to commit to one another…always and in all things
Commit to taking divorce off the table! Take time this week and go over your wedding vows again. Take notice of the commitments you made to one another and take an honest evaluation of how you each are doing living up to those commitments.
Love Never Fails
Love never fails = in all things protect, trust, hope and persevere!
To grow the intimacy within your marriage both spouses must be willing to grow and cultivate that love. When your marriage is based on the love that God has for us, which is the only love that truly never fails…then yes, love is enough!
Our love should be a reflection of the love God has for us
As a spouse, does your love for your spouse reflect the love God has for you?
[Husbands and Wives] Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)